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Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

September 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Quick turnaround (Friday links)

The Sounders returned from Honduras yesterday and will have one day’s preparation for a big MLS showdown with league-leading San Jose. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field (note the schedule change from Sunday) and Seattle has to win to have any realistic chance of pushing for the Supporters’ Shield.

Also, by way of a Chivas USA’s midweek loss, the Sounders can officially clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie.

I’ll have more updates from practice later today. Until then, here are some links:

* * *

— According to this ESPN.com story, soccer is the second-most popular sport in this country for kids ages 12-14 and Leo Messi is more popular here than Dwyane Wade.

— Is Fredy Montero an MLS MVP candidate? Sure, but he’s got a few others on his own team, too … and everyone might as well be playing for second place the way Chris Wondolowski is going. Also, I don’t know if I expected Montero to win MLS Goal of the Week, but he did.

— Here’s a pretty cool look at Steve Zakuani‘s game last weekend in Portland.

Here’s a story on Sounders FC academy product Ike Crook and another on Fernando Monge, who played with the U-23s this summer. Also, here’s another look at youth development in this country as a whole.

— Around MLS, Fire midfielder Alvaro Fernandez has some comments on the trade that sent him to Chicago, and here’s a look at disappointment in D.C. over DP Hamdi Salihi.

— The U.S. women’s national team beat Australia, 6-2, the other day in what was coach Pia Sundhage‘s last game with the team.

— It sounds like the Canadian Soccer Association might be interested in being a part of the new women’s professional soccer league.

— Elsewhere in world soccer, it sounds like Mexico is going to make a push to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and and FIFA wasn’t all too excited about Jamaica fans’ pitch invasion after beating the U.S. earlier in qualifying.

— Also, I don’t think American goalkeeper Brad Friedel will be sending Fabien Barthez a Christmas card after some recent comments.

— UW men’s soccer coach Jamie Clark will be meeting a familiar foe this weekend.

— Lastly, what a great goal…

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